When I saw Speaker Pelosi and House Majority Leader Hoyer inexplicably declare victory this morning, I knew that I’d soon be geting an email from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, DCCC Chairman, asking for money as a show of support and blaming the Republicans for trying to block real health care reform.
And, sure enough, the email arrived early this afternoon.
“RAPID RESPONSE” the email announces.
With excitement, the email goes on to say
Now that we’ve taken this historic step, the media, pundits, and defenders of the status quo are wondering, “How will you respond?” Help us raise $50,000 by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT to send a powerful message that the American people stand behind a strong public option and comprehensive health care reform.
And, before the end of the email, we’re fed this kind of nonsense:
With Republicans digging in even harder now to protect the status quo, we need grassroots Democrats like you to help us finish the job.
Well, Rep. Van Hollen asked me how I’m going to respond, so here’s my response, sent via the DCCC’s contact page:
October 29, 2009
Dear Congressman Chris Van Hollen, DCCC Chairman,
The only reason I can think of for you to have sent out an email today labeled “RAPID RESPONSE” and to have excitedly asked me – along with millions of other Americans who have been counting on the Democratic leadership – to help you raise $50,000 for the DCCC by “MIDNIGHT TONIGHT” is because you know that Speaker Pelosi is taking a ridiculously watered down version of health care reform to the House floor.
Inexplicably, despite the Democratic majorities that we worked hard to get in the House and Senate, you people have failed as Democratic leaders and are trying to claim victory now because you know that what will come out of the House and Senate later will be even more watered down than what Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are proposing as starting points for debate on the House and Senate floors.
I don’t blame you for trying now – at the beginning of this process, when the bills are just being proposed, but have not yet passed in either the House or the Senate – to raise as much money as you possibly can for next year’s campaign.
We both know that the base of the Democratic Party is soon going to become furious when the final legislation that goes to President Obama’s desk for his signature will be even less than what Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid have unveiled this week.
Now you say that the media will be asking how I will respond to the news that the Democratic leaders are victoriously announcing that they’re going to start debates on the House and Senate floors with already weak proposals.
Let me tell you how I, a moderate Democrat of nearly two decades, have responded. Today, I made a contribution to FDL Action for the “Fund Organizers in Arkansas: Dare Blanche Lincoln to Filibuster the Public Option” campaign. I also made a contribution to FDL Action’s ad calling on Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-Arkansas) to act like Democrats, as well as to several ads produced by the PCCC and DFA that have run in Montana, Maine and Nevada.
So if you want a contribution from me, by all means, contact Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake and ask her for the money I contributed to FDL Action.
I doubt very much that she’d give it to the DCCC, though I have absolutely no doubt that she’ll soon put it to excellent use supporting primary challengers to so-called Democrats like Rep. Mike Ross and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
Pelosi and Reid weren’t strong enough to stop so-called Democrats in the House and Senate from selling us out, so thanks for nothing.
Ps – I’ve written to you before about not confusing the base of the Democratic Party with the lemmings who are the base of the Republican Party. I wrote that it took the base of the Republican Party six years to begin to see that the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress weren’t really working for their interests, while it has taken less than six months for the base of the Democratic Party to see that the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress are going to throw away once-in-a-generation opportunities to bring real change on behalf of all Americans.